Defective shutoff valves

My house is 13 years old. I have had occasion to disconnect various faucets, toilets, dishwasher, etc. for upgrades, replacement, or remodelling projects. Each fixture has a shutoff valve connecting it to a 1/2" copper pipe - all well and good. However, it seems that everytime I turn off one of these valves, it breaks/leaks, etc. requiring me to shut off the main supply valve and replace the smaller one at the fixture, completely negating the benefit of having these valves installed in the first place. Indeed, it turns out to be more work and expense than if these valves were not there at all. Each time, in mid-project, I trek over to my local HD and/or Menards and/or Ace Hardware and buy a new valve to replace the old one. Each time, I look for something that might be a better quality to minimize the chances of this happening the next time. It seems that they only carry one level of quality, however, so I fear that I will live with this situation forever. What gives? I recall cursing the building code in my previous home for not requiring these valves. Alas, I'm no better off with them. Indeed, this is worse! I'd be hard pressed to consider this to be a water quality issue (Suburban Chicago, Lake Michigan water - shouldn't be too bad)
Any suggestions on where to buy valves that will outlast the fixture that they are feeding?
-Mike
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Go to a real plumbing store and ask for 1/4 turn stops.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG

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As a last resort, I started buying valves at an area Ace Hardware; they have nice Italian-made ball valves instead of the cheap Chinese crap that Menard's carries (LDF maybe?). It's expensive, but they should hold up much better.
Mike Hartigan wrote:

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Most builder use gate valves. The fixture valves are not all that well built. I replace everything with ball valves. Sometimes they look bad but they last.
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Mike Hartigan writes:

I have the same problem. The brass bodies are corroded away internally after 10 or 20 years. The "Brass Craft" brand sold and Home Depot seems to be the same stuff.
My solution is to solder on 1/2" male pipe thread adapters to the 1/2" copper stubs, and use a new 1/4-turn valve with female pipe threads. At least that way they are easy to replace, and the soldering part is easier than soldering on a valve. And the 1/4-turn valves (still made by the same outfit) seem like they might live longer.
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